Experience has shown that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) components especially mediation tend to conclude cases faster than the traditional legal representation. Further, Article 159(2)(c) of the Constitution of Kenya recognises ADR and encourages it as a form of dispute resolution to be applied by courts. As a result, the primary thrust of this programme will be ADR, self representation (training litigants to effectively represent themselves in court), and public interest litigation (PIL). Legal aid provisioning in partnership with University based Legal clinics, grassroots organisations working with the target groups and other social justice institutions will be a secondary thrust. Without compromising on the quality of justice accessed to the poor, minority, and marginalized groups, the AJP will emphasize on the speed of delivering justice. Apart from promoting the ‘quick justice’ measures on the demand side, we shall also engage with the supply side of the justice sector through established mediation institutions and the Court Annexed Mediation.
Further, contrary to the ordinary practice where organisations pursue PIL cases up to judgment stage, we will process our cases from the inception stage to the implementation of the judgment through policy, legislative and practice change. This will be achieved through strategic collaborations with the policy makers and the media.
For the next five years, the AJP programme intends to transform the manner in which the supply and demand sides of justice transact. Experience has shown us that when the demand for justice exceeds supply, the cost of transacting justice goes up. AJP expects to create a balance between the two sides of justice in favour of the poor, minority and marginalized members of the society, first in Kenya, thereafter the rest of Africa.The Strategic Intention
The AJP programme has seven interrelated interventions aimed at chain-linking the demand and supply sides of justice.
This will be AMKA’s flagship intervention. We expect to use this litigation approach to fill in gaps in policy and law, to align domestic laws to international standards, and to increase pro minority and marginalised sensitivity in our legal system.
AMKA will partner with university legal clinics and specific law firms to provide free legal services. We expect to initiate an active data base of pro bono lawyers and legal clinics who will be contacted to provide their expertise in inter alia, PIL, mediation and training in self representation clients.
AMKA will develop training manuals on self representation and train the target groups. Self representation is undoubtedly a transformative aspect of access to justice which has proven effective in Kenya particularly in children rights cases. Training clients in self representation as an intervention will ensure that as many people as possible access courts for the protection and enforcement of their rights. We plan to partner with grassroots organisations and communities to drive the self-representation intervention with minimal technical support from AMKA in partnership with University Legal Clinics.
Like self representation, this is another aspect of ‘quick justice’. Using our pool of pro-bono lawyers, and other trained mediators, we expect to use this intervention to reduce case load in legal representation. We will also partner with Judiciary in the Court Annexed Mediation programme to process our cases.
Our intention is to engage with the existing informal justice systems such as chiefs, elders and 'wazee wa nyumba kumi' in order to make justice accessible to the poor, minority and marginalized who cannot afford the formal court system. This aspect will be promoted at county levels because the informal justice system is more vibrant within the communities. We expect this to provide quick dispensation of justice at an affordable price.
This intervention takes on deserving cases and provides legal aid services in the form of advice, referrals or actual representation in court. We expect to work closely with the National Legal Aid Scheme, Partner University Legal Clinics and Non Governmental Organizations within the justice sector.